It’s actually incredible that someone who isn’t Donald Trump has managed to make Donald Trump look this bad, but here we are. First, Trump Organization attorney Michael Cohen told the Daily Beast that marital rape is perfectly legal A-OK. Then, in the same disastrous interview, he told Daily Beast reporter Tim Mak he’d “destroy your life,” the way he said he had done to a former Miss USA contestant. Oh, yeah? Great, let’s talk about that too!
The Daily Beast’s Tim Mak and Brandy Zadrozny have gotten some really great mileage out of one terrible and hilarious interaction with Cohen. He not only told Mak that marital rape is impossible — and thus that Trump couldn’t possibly have raped then-wife Ivana Trump — but also said, in the most colorful terms, that he’d sue the Daily Beast if they wrote about the allegations.
That is, for the record, the very best way to ensure that a reporter writes about something. And so they did, including the lawsuit threats as part of the story:
“I will make sure that you and I meet one day while we’re in the courthouse. And I will take you for every penny you still don’t have. And I will come after your Daily Beast and everybody else that you possibly know,” Cohen said. “So I’m warning you, tread very fucking lightly, because what I’m going to do to you is going to be fucking disgusting. You understand me?”
“You write a story that has Mr. Trump’s name in it, with the word ‘rape,’ and I’m going to mess your life up… for as long as you’re on this frickin’ planet… you’re going to have judgments against you, so much money, you’ll never know how to get out from underneath it,” he added.
Good. Good idea, Michael, good talking.
As Mak and Zadrozny revealed in a followup story Friday, Cohen specifically referenced Sheena Monnin when outlining the ways he’d ruin their lives. Monnin was Miss Pennsylvania in 2012’s Miss USA Pageant, but quit, claiming the contest was rigged, and, just to make sure no one in this story is in any way sympathetic, adding that she objected to transgender pageant contestants, referring to them as “natural born males,” and adding, “This goes against ever moral fiber of my being. I believe in integrity, high moral character, and fair play, none of which are part of this system any longer.”
In response, Trump successfully sued Monnin for $5 million on defamation grounds, arguing she’d caused the pageant to lose a sponsorship deal. (They ultimately settled for around $1 million.)
Cohen remains very proud of the whole thing, referencing it in his fun conversation with Mak:
“Do you want to destroy your life? It’s going to be my privilege to serve it to you on a silver platter like I did that idiot from Pennsylvania in Miss USA, because I think you’re dumber than she is,” Cohen said. “Sheena Monnin, another one that wanted to defame Mr. Trump and ended up with a $5 million judgment. That’s going to be nothing compared to what I do to you.”
The Trump Presidential Campaign, which is supposedly separate from the Trump Organization, has been forced to clarify that Cohen doesn’t speak for the campaign or the candidate. Campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told CNN, “Mr. Trump speaks for Mr. Trump and nobody but Mr. Trump speaks for him.”
True! And Donald Trump is the one who told a breastfeeding lawyer that she was “disgusting.” A great organization for women all around.
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Monnin competing in 2012. Photo via Getty Images